Ouigo (TGV)

French rail operator SNCF has now divided its high speed TGV services into two categories.

(1) Standard TGV services = inOui
(2) These low cost TGV services = Ouigo 

These Ouigo train are no-frills TGV services which use the same high speed lines as the standard (inOui) TGV services.

Boarding      l           Tickets


Luggage      l           Routes

In contrast to TGV inOui services, Ouigo trains:

(1) are 2nd class only,
(2) have no catering facilities available*
(3) have no Wi-Fi etc,
(4) have no option to choose a seat/seating area when booking
(5) don't permit bikes on board,
(6 require pre-booking for pushchairs/strollers,
(7) have less generous luggage allowance - see below
(8) have more restrictive ticket booking options - see below
(9) have a different boarding procedure.

The standard Ouigo passenger cabins have no power sockets available to passengers, but for an additional payment of €2 you can be placed in a seat that has access to a power socket.

*You can take cold food such as sandwiches on board with you on to Ouigo trains, but it seems as though hot food/'street food' is not permitted.

Quiet Areas/Zones:

In addition to the standard seating cabins, Ouigo trains also have 'Quiet Zones/Areas'.

Seats in these Quiet Areas cost €5 more than the standard price.

Only travellers aged 12 and over are permitted to travel in these Quiet Areas/Zones AND unlike the standard cabins, the seats in these zones all have access to power sockets.

If you opt to travel in a Quiet Area/zoneyou will be expected to make or receive calls outside the seating cabins, in the vestibules by the doors.

Boarding:

If you will be travelling by Ouigo train you are requested to be at the station 30 mins before departure as all travellers need to pass through Ouigo reception.

You need to have passed through Ouigo reception a minimum of 5 mins before departure.

Though in practicethe Ouigo reception can open only around 10mins before departure, leading to a frantic scramble pre-boarding.

Tickets:

The major advantage of booking tickets for Ouigo trains is the price, as the prices for most journeys by Ouigo trains can cost as low as €10.

Though now that Ouigo trains depart from some stations in central Paris, the price policy of any Ouigo departure being available 'from €10' has evidently been discontinued.

Ticket prices can be more than 4 x cheaper than standard (inOui) services on comparable routes - though be aware of not making a like-for-like comparison.
A Marne La Vallé - Marseille journey is not the same as a Paris Gare De Lyon - Marseille journey etc.

The 4 key things to be aware of are:

(1) Tickets can be booked on the Ouigo website but it is French language only - AND tickets can now ALSO be booked on the E.U version of Oui.SNCF AND on Trainline.

So when looking up routes served by standard In-Oui trains AND Ouigo trains, the Ouigo departures can be compared with inOui departures, on the E.U version of SNCF's standard booking service, Oui.SNCF OR on Trainline.

Use the generic from and to city names when searching such as 'Paris' and 'Marseille' and not the specific station names.

(2) Tickets for Ouigo journeys cannot be booked at stations - and they also can't be be collected at stations - you either have to print them from the email you receive, or save them to your phone.

(3) The only type of ticket available for journeys by Ouigo are the 'Exchangeable Tickets' aka 'Leisure' tickets.

As pointed out on the Oui.SNCF website these tickets can't be refunded, if you subsequently cancel your travel plans, or miss your train due to a factor outside the control of SNCF - such as a broken down Metro train, or a taxi stuck in traffic.

However, they can be swapped to a different Ouigo departure on your travel date, up to an hour before the train you are booked on to is due to leave - but to do so will cost a €10 admin fee.

(4) Tickets are also only available for DIRECT longer end-2-end journeys by Ouigo trains and are not available for shorter journeys such as Marseille to Aix-en-Provence.

The booking window:

Tickets can be booked up to six months ahead*of the travel date - usually.

*In contrast tickets can usually only be booked only up to 3 months ahead for TGV inOui services - so when looking up the Ouigio routes on Oui.SNCF MORE than 3 months ahead on, you will only see Ouigo trains listed.

So don't assume in this scenario that only Ouigo trains will be an option for your journey, you will have to wait to see which alternative TGV inOui services will also be available - so that you can then compare departure times and prices with the Ouigo trains.

Child tickets:

Unlike on other train services in France, children aged 3 and under don't apparently travel for free on Ouigo trains.

A flat rate price is charged for children aged 11 and under of €5 per child*, except for journeys to/from Paris Est, Paris Gare De Lyon and Paris Montparnasse when the flat rate price is €8.

Child tickets cannot be booked for Quiet areas/zones on the Ouigo trains.

Luggage terms:

Each ticket holder can either board with two pieces of hand luggage not exceeding 36 x 27 x 15 cm (height x width x depth) OR 1 piece hand luggage 36 x 27 x 15 cm (height x width x depth) + 1  piece of cabin luggage not exceeding 55 x 35 x 25 cm (height x width x depth).

So in essence this means 2 pieces of hand luggage per passenger OR 1 larger bag + 1 piece of hand luggage.

A €5 surcharge is charged for additional or larger items of luggage.


This is in contrast to TGV (InOui) services, on which passengers can travel with two larger suitcases + one piece of hand luggage.

Also note that pushchairs/strollers etc are in addition to these luggage limits, so will need to be added to a booking.

Rail Passes:

Rail passes are not valid on Ouigo trains.

Ouigo Routes:


A difference between standard inOui and low cost Ouigo services used to be that Ouigo trains didn't use stations in central Paris - though this is changing and an increasing number of Ouigo routes do serve central Paris stations.

On the new timetable, which will be valid until early December 2019, the Ouigo routes are now:

(1) Paris Gare De Lyon - Lyon St Exupery (Lyon Airport) - Aix-en-Provence TGV - Toulon - St Raphael - Cannes - Antibes - Nice

(2) Paris Gare De Lyon - Lyon St Exupery (Lyon Airport) - Avignon TGV  - Marseille

(3) Lille - Aepoort CDG - Marne la Vallée - Lyon St Exupery (Lyon Airport) - Avignon TGV - Aix-en-Provence TGV - Marseille 

(4) Marne la Vallée - Lyon Part Dieu (central Lyon)

(5) Tourcoing* - Paris Aeroport CDG - Marne la Vallée - Lyon St Exupery (Lyon Airport) - Valence TGV - Nimes - Montpellier

(6) Tourcoing* - Paris Aeroport CDG - Marne la Vallée - Massy TGV - Angouleme - Bordeaux

*Tourcoing is connected to Lille by local trains (the Lille Metro and tram doesn't serve Tourcoing train station).

(7) Paris Est - Strasbourg - Colmar

(8) Paris Est -  Metz 

(9) Paris Est - Nancy

(10) Marne la Vallée - Paris Aeroport CDG - Champagne Ardennes TGV - Lorraine TGV - Strasbourg

(11) Paris Montparnasse - Poitiers - Bordeaux

(12) Paris Montparnasse - Nantes

(13) Paris Montparnasse - Rennes

Connections from Central Paris:

Marne la Vallée is a terminus of RER Line A - avoid the trains heading to Boissy-St-Legér

Aeroport CDG is a terminus of RER Line B - avoid the trains heading to Mitry-Clare and remain on the train until it arrives at the final station Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2 TGV .

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